Monday, September 19, 2011

Wow! What a great light at the end of a bad week. We lost a huge tree which took down all of our power lines. CLP told us that even though our entire block go their power back on Thursday afternoon we probably would not get ours back until Tuesday. Friday afternoon a truck showed up in our driveway with form CT Solar services. We thought maybe they were soliciting for something but then realized that Bruce and Nick were our knights in shining armor. They had been contracted by CLP to fix individual’s power lines. My whole day was made.  Even though they felt we would not get power back yesterday I was confident that we were on our way. At about 6:15 we heard the whrrrr of power and our nightmare was over. Not only were Bruce and Nick - lovely and charming even after working many straight days fixing power lines but I learned that even though they are in Beacons Falls they will come and do work in our area. After 14 years here we still do not have an electrician that we really like or trust.  We are so excited to find this wonderful company and these wonderful guys and hope to use them going forward for whatever electrical work we may have. If you need them Bruce can be reached at 203 723-9052. Additionally we found an amazing tree guy- Burt at Stumps. He came by immediately and gave us an estimate that was well under all others. He came the next day and took our tree from across our property and cleaned up. We will be happy to use him for all our tree work and recommend him to everyone! He can be reached at 203 227-0590

September 10

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I found that I was sadder than in years past. I remember September 11, 2001 as though it were yesterday. It was probably one of the most glorious days that I can imagine. The sky was the bluist I can remember ever seeing and it was a temperate day. It started early as I went to pick up 2 of my bosses (who were staying at different hotels). As I waited outside the first hotel there was a clamor as a large group of people rushed in. I asked the doorman what it was all about and he indicated that it was Mayor Rudy Guiliani and his staff entering. My boss arrived and we moved on to the 2nd hotel. Always being early we arrived at our 9:00 appt at approx. 8:30am.  While we awaited our buyers arrival my husband called and said a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I was annoyed and certain that a small plane had clipped a wing and wondered why knowing I was with my management waiting to go into a meeting he would have called. Shortly after that call, my bosses wife called and used the word terrorism (not a word we really ever had heard relating to attacks on US Soil.  When the receptionist arrived we asked her to turn on the computer so that we could get a visual (this was before Iphones and Ipads so we had no way to see what was going on).  She first turned on the radio while her computer was warming up (they had to do that in those days). Just as she turned it on we heard a traffic or weather reporter say another plane has hit the World trade Center. With no visual still I fgured taht a small helicopter gpomng to view the first imcident had clipped its propeller or wing. As our buyer arrived (it was her birthday) her boss whizzed by and asked if she wanted to join them at the TV in the CEO's office- she pointed out that she had vendors here and we walked back to her office.

Once we got there and she received several updates by phone (as did all the other surrounding buyers) we realized that this was a lot worse than we had thought. We knew the NY airports were closed- at the time we did not know that it was the entire US. I offerred to drive my bosses to Hartford to fly home to Chicago. They figured they would just stay over another night. They got their rooms back at the hotel in NY and stayed there. As I got my car out of the garage the attendant asked where I was going as all the bridges and tunnels were closed. I siad I don't tkae a bridge or tunnel to CT. (He pointed out that Manhattan was an Island) but the bridges I take are small bridges that I did not expect to be impacted- as it turned ut they were closed coming in to the city but not going out.

Once we left there was no phone contact as all cell service was out. It was scary driving because no one knew what would happen next. There were people all over the streets and as I drove by the U.N. I was truly scared that it could be bombed. I drove home in that amazing sunlight and bright blue sky. I made it home in about 1/2 the time as usual. As I pulled into my driveway I noticed another car and i could not place it, as i walked into our den where my husband was glued to the TV, the light behind him blinded me and I still could not tell who was there.  I then realized it was a close friend who lived nearby and dropped by to be with someone else. I learned that my big one who was in kindergarten at the time, was still there. The school had said to allow the children to stay so as to not disrupt their day. They checked each classroom to determine that everyone had someone at home to be there when they got off the bus and had parents and teachers ride the bus home to insure that none f the older kids that may have known that had happened would not discuss the with the younger kids.

I tear up each time I think of the amazing job our principal at the time (and the whole school) did in protecting our children. There were no protocols in place and being a suburb of NYC many parents worked in NY and no one knew for sure who was ok and not. In a PTA meeting shortly after 9-11 hearing the principal discuss the many ways  they pulled this all together to protect our children has held them in great esteem for these many years.

Being a New Yorker it has taken me years to be able to "deal with" 9-11. I will ever feel as safe as I did growing up and am sorry that my kids will NEVER have the comfort of the safeness that I felt growing up. Fo years I would cry as I came around the curve on the Bruckner and noticed that the towers were not there.  Whenever I would cross the Whitestone Bridge and see the planes flying to the airport I would have a fear that the planes may fly into the bridge. To this day I look around grand central each time I arrive and wonder for  a second if these are the people I will die with as Grand Central seems like such a likely target. Most of the time I just go about my business and hope to never deal with anything close to 9-11 again.

Ponderisms 1

This will be a place where I will continually post ponderisms - Things that make me ponder- "what were they thinking"?

The thing that has had me ponder for a very long time is the following sign:
This is the sign at the platform at the Metro North train station. I am puzzled each time that I take the train and wonder why the date would be more important than the time? Is it that the trains are late too often (which I do not think they are) so they avoid the time to avoid embarrassment? Otherwise why is the date important? If it is for commuters there is only 1 day a month that is important- the first day of the month. The day of the week is almost more important to help with peak vs. off peak. But the date????

Next ponderism....  I am all for interactive -  I love the daily (the newspaper written for  the iPad.)It is interactive in so many ways- embedded videos, sliding pictures, and other visuals. I frequently "read" my books on my i pod/pad audibly. I purchase them from because I can listen when I am driving, I love that I can listen to  them when I am knitting or cooking and still feel like i have read a book. I am currently "reading" "sing Me Home" by Jodi Picoult. I am so frustrated with this book because at the beginning of each chapter they play a song. I understand that the book is about a music therapist so the music ties in. However when I am listening to the book I want to proceed with the book  not hear a song.   I wonder-  What do people do that buy the actual book? Do they get a cd with it? That would be better because they can listen to the songs when they want. Or do they just get no songs? - just something to ponder. I listened to another book recently that had recipes embedded- there I was on the losing side because I could not copy the recipes as I drove. It turned out that the author posted many of theme on her website- but it was hard to remember which was which and they were not in the order that they were in the book. oh well- win some, lose some....

Friday, September 16, 2011

it's FABulous

What a phenomenal way to display your books

My new favorite time of day is 11:00 am. That is when the new daily site is available showcasing their newest and greatest. They somehow find the coolest most unique design oriented items. More important is that if you do not order quickly many of the best items are sold out. The discounts range but it is as much about exposure and coolness if not more than price.

what a cool clock!!
 is a very new flash site with its launch being June 9, 2011 and it  already has 600,000 members with 2.5 million visits in August up from 1.86 million in July. They have sold over 140,000 units over the summer from more than 500 designers. They are currently the number 11 fash sale site* growing 800% in 2 months. They have taken flash sales 1 step further in launching the first online "pop up shop". It  features 76 products as part of Fast Company's promotion for its design issue and will run for 1 month.We are all familiar with "pop up shops" where retailers take small unused space for short time frames to have a "store" where they may not really have one.
* A flash sale site is one that offers a sale for a limited time frame

Perfect chair for me in the luggage business

They generally have about 6-8 designers on sale per day and I am greatful that they do not all appeal to me (becasue I really can't afford it) there are many that I find interesting and unique. I wish them continued success and am excited to see the many new ways that they will impact etailing as the move forward. Please check them out at
A lamp made from the wire that it plugs into

Monday, September 5, 2011

Montreal- What Could Have Been

Montreal - what could have been?  
Being in Montreal brought back a flood of memories of past trips to this Canadian city.
My first visit was in 1967 to expo 67 with camp. As we visited the biosphere on ile saint Helene I remembered that trip many years ago. Seeing the biosphere, the habitat, and the balance of Montreal's worlds fair was such a fun trip for me as a 9 year old. My next visit to Montreal was at about 14 traveling in a pop tent trailer with my aunt and uncle and 2 cousins. We went to Quebec city, trois-rivers ( where the highlight of the visit was watching the men at the campgrounds chase the women and mark them up with charcoal and throw them in the river), Ontario- I remember going to Lake Ontario Park  and we spent 1 night in Montreal on Rue Sainte Catherine in a hotel ( we must  have parked the camper). I remember eating coq au vin in what seemed like a very fancy restaurant. Our time in Montreal was short but I liked it. My next visit probably had the most impact on my life. My first choice of colleges ( and the only one I did not get into) was McGill university located in downtown Montreal. I remember well and will never forget finding my parents after my tour and being asked by my dad what the name of the person I met with was. I responded that "I did not know". He immediately pulled over to the nearest pay phone (this was way before cell phones) and insisted I call and find out the name of the person with whom I met. Of course I could not have been any more embarrassed but I rarely forget to ask to whom i am speaking now. Being in Montreal this week just as college students began to arrive made me very melancholy. Many families staying in our hotel were there to drop their kids off to begin their college career at McGill. It made me think that could have been me so many years ago. It made me wonder if how different my life would have been had I gone to a college in an international city, probably becoming fluent in French and picking up some of French lifestyle influences vs. the rural life that I learned at Hampshire college in Amherst, Mass. 
My experience in Amherst was wonderful and diverse- being part of the 5 college consortium with Smith, Umass, Mt. Holyoke and Amherst. It offerred me so many opportunitites and since Hampshire was a "hippy" school I learned how to be an entrepreneur and have my own business. Still I wondered while there- what might have been

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Connected or disconnected-that is the question

I must say that as much as I look forward to vacation the thought of being disconnected from email, Internet, Facebook, news and such seems on one hand devastating and on the other peaceful. When we left on this most recent vacation we had to be vey careful due to international rates that would be applied  in Canada. This left us mostly unconnected by phone (as even on a plan the rates were high). 3G for the iPad would have the same effect so we had to rely on wifi. All places we booked had free wifi (or so they said). Arriving at our condo at Mont Tremblant we found that the owner had the condo for sale and had not paid for phone or Internet. We had none. This would mean no email, Facebook, more importantly no access to words with friends or hanging with friends. In much negotiation with the office the following solutions were offered: they would give us an office in a town nearby that we could go check email periodically, or we could move to an older less nice condo that had phone but no Internet. Neither of these a great choice. We pleaded that a nearby condo had a password protected Internet but he owned hs property and did not use the rental organization. They eventually gave us a password for another condo (farthest away in our complex). It worked but was spotty at best. We frequently had to go downstairs to get reconnected. In reflecting on last years vacation on the cruise where we went an entire week with no connectivity it was less painful as there was a lot of communication and so much to do.

Should we be connected during vacation? From owning a business it is a good idea to check email as we received some orders and interesting opportunities. It does take a little away from the calming effects of vacation. More importantly being connected kept us a little away from us spending time with each other. We did play a couple of scrabble games ( on the board-not the iPad) but most evenings ( and mornings) we could be found on our individual iPads, phones or computers getting the info each of us need or wanted.
As much as I would be the first to not want to be unconnected maybe no internet is beter on vacation.

The polish is off the apple

It seems that the week we are on vacation always holds some very impactful news.   2 years ago we spent much of our Cape Cod vacation glued to the tv watching about Ted Kennedy's passing. Being on the cape it was a much more significant story than in other parts of the world. Years before that we were in Rehobeth Beach in Delaware as we felt the impact of hurricane Katrina.

 While it only gave us huge rain and high, rough surf - we watched in disbelief how New Orleans was ravaged. This weeks vacation holds the possible capture of Ghadaffi, an earthquake in Washington D.C., and the mosr devastating to me, Steve Jobs has resigned. I learned his from a friend who knew I would care. I cried...for 2 reasons, 1. Although I do believe the apple team has great vision and will move forward with great insight and vision but without Steve Jobs' passion I think there will always be something missing. 2. I suspect it is due to his health that he is stepping down and that saddens me greatly. I wish apple all the success in the world and hope that Steve Jobs' fingerprint will always be on every product and idea. (whether actual or just from all of his many years of involvement.) I hope that his magic will fix whatever is currently ailing him. Our world needs more Steve Jobs"as he has truly been one of the most influential life changing people in my lifetime. He has changed the way we own and listen to music, tv, movies. He has changed how we compute (iPad) and most importantly he has made it all LOOK GREAT. His products are things many of us covet. I wish him all the best.